Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic Resistance

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

Race and Self-Defense, Immigration, Antibiotics, and Creativity

Episode: Race and Self-Defense, Immigration, Antibiotics, and Creativity

  • Jun 4, 2015 9:00 pm
  • 20:32 mins

Guest: Miriam Barlow, Ph. D., Associate Professor at UC Merced, School of Natural Sciences  This final conversation today comes from the “Math Rocks” file. A mathematician at American University has teamed up with biologist at the University of California-Merced to tackle what the World Health Organization calls a global threat: the increase in drug-resistant strains of bacteria. Some 2 million people fall ill to such infections in the US each year, according to the CDC. Bacteria are able to quickly mutate and evolve themselves to resist antibiotics they encounter.  So, this mathematician and biologist have developed some software they call “Time Machine,” because it spits out a computation that could be used by doctors to force bacteria to mutate back into a form that can be killed by antibiotics.  Miriam Barlow of UC-Merced’s School of Natural Sciences is the biologist part of the duo and joined us to discuss her research.  Barlow collaborated with mathematicians to figure out how a model on how to best combat the bacteria. It's like a dog chasing its own tail—cycling through antibiotics until the disease reverts to being vulnerable to the first antibiotic.